The Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat have rekindled an Eastern Conference rivalry this year. The battles between these teams dominated the Eastern Conference when both teams ran Big Threes. Though the Celtics never won, the rivalry has petered out. Today, their formidable fights have no bearing.
Erik Spoelstra is still running the Miami Heat team, but Boston got a new head coach in Brad Stevens. Stevens has been a coach for over five seasons now and has made three Conference Finals, while the Heat have made none in the same time. However, the respect is evident between the two.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens: “I think Erik [Spoelstra] is tremendous on both sides of the ball. … I think the world of Erik. I think the world of their whole program.”
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) September 22, 2020
Stevens was very complimentary of his rival Spo while talking to the media, openly sharing his admiration for him and his work with the Heat.
Boston Celtics and the coaching battle against the Miami Heat
Brad Stevens has to win this matchup on the power of his coaching. However, there may be more similarities between him and Erik Spoelstra than what meets the eye. Both Spoelstra and Stevens are known to have a rapt attention towards detail. That level of meticulous work means that teams like this are usually very well prepared for whatever an opponent has to throw at them.
In the first three games. The Celtics were falling into the zone defense trap that Miami was playing on them. So they came out in game three and found a way to break it by employing cuts, dribbles, and hand-offs to players that could cause the zone to collapse. This tactical change allowed Boston to pick up a crucial game three victory.
We are seeing, possibly, the two best coaches in the NBA right now going at it. Both men have proven post-season track records as well as a team built by them. It will be interesting to see who ekes out who in this battle to make it to the NBA Finals.